The washing machine is one of the most useful home appliances in existence, and it can even come in handy in some surprising situations. However, like anything else, your washing machine isn’t invincible. There are certain items that should never be run in the machine as they could cause damage, or alternatively, the machine cycle could ruin them. Find out what should never be placed in the washing machine below.
Forgetting a few coins in your pocket after going to the grocery store is something that happened to everyone at least once. Next thing you know, your washing machine is a bit louder than it should be as all those coins are unintentionally going through the cycle.
It would be a good idea to make a habit of running through all your pockets before you chuck the clothes in the machine. “Coins can damage the fins on the drain pump if they make it past the filter,” says James Peters, Kenmore Laundry Product Manager, to Readers Digest. The little pieces of metal could also get stuck in a drainpipe and block it, preventing the water from draining properly, damage the drum and puncture the outer tank, and even shatter the glass of a front-loading machine. So emptying those pockets could really save you hundreds of dollars and much stress.
It would be so nice and simple to be able to throw lingerie in the washer with the rest of your clothing. Unfortunately, this could end in damage to both the machine and your undergarments. The hooks and wires on and in the lingerie could attach themselves to other clothing or even itself, resulting in rips and tears. They could also hook onto parts of the washing machine itself, and damage the inside of it. The solution is buying a lingerie bag to wash your delicates in, or washing them by hand.
3. Stains that might be flammable
If you happen to spill gas on your clothes, after filling up your tank in a rush and pull out the pump too quickly, for example, it would be understandable that you’d want to get rid of the smell. However, throwing the garment straight into the washing machine could result in a fire or explosion!
To avoid this dangerous situation, there is an easy way to get rid of flammable stains. Mix a paste of two parts baking soda and one part water and rub it into the stain. Another method is hand washing the stained item in a sink or bucket with hot water and detergent or dish soap and letting it air dry.
Just like coins, the problem with metal keys is that they are easily forgotten in pockets, and in that case, they can easily scratch up the inside of your machine and damage the drum in the same way as coins.
These days, however, many buildings have keyless entries which are opened using remote starters or unlockers. This kind of key should also never find its way to the washing machine, as the water could cause them to short circuit.
5. Embellished clothing
The washing machine is not a friend of any garment with sequins, tinsels, or anything that glitters. “Embellishments that are sewn on can easily tear in the washer and, if they are glued, the intensity of the hot water can break down the adhesive,” said Leanne Stapf, an expert in fabric content and cleaning, and the vice president of the cleaning franchise The Cleaning Authority. Hand washing is the safest way to go when it comes to embellished clothing.
It is common knowledge that suits should be dry cleaned, but we thought it worthwhile to mention them on this list too. Most suits are made of high-quality fabrics that can either shrink or tear, even in a delicate cycle. Keep in mind that suit jackets don’t even need to be dry cleaned that often, if it is used often once a month will do, and for a special occasion suit, it can even be dry cleaned once per season. In between dry cleaner drop-offs, you can use a steamer to keep your suit wrinkle-free.